September 25, 2009
The CPI (M) doesn't seem to end its ongoing exercise to turn even friends as its sworn enemies. The latest fellow traveller to fall out of party's grace is Sebastian Paul, former MP, noted media person and former member of Press Council.
The party organ Desabhimani has unleashed a tirade against Paul (62) for having criticised the leadership's recent onslaught against the media for criticising the party and the Left Democratic Front government. In an edit page article penned by Prabha Varma, prominent CPI (M) intellectual and poet has taken Paul to task for having written an article in a leading journal slamming the party leadership for trying to silence the media.
"Paul is trying to defend the media's biased attack against CPI (M) and its leaders" noted Varma a director of Kairali, the CPI (M)-backed television channel and who was Press Secretary to former Chief Minister E K Nayanar.
"Party and its secretary Pinarayi Vijayan are attacking media like Indira Gandhi during Emergency. He should be more tolerant to criticism. A caucus around him is leading Vijayan to antagonise even friends" retorted Paul who was thrice the CPI (M)-backed independent MP from Ernakulam and twice an independent MLA. Paul who had worked as a journalist earlier joined politics in 1997 when CPI(M) successfully fielded him to wrest the Latin Catholic church-dominated Congress citadel of Ernakulam. That Paul was a member of the Latin Catholic church too had helped his victory. Paul was denied seat in the last Lok Sabha polls allegedly due t party's suspicions about his loyalty. In the internal rivalry in CPI(M), Paul is said to be closer to Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan than his bete noire Pinarayi Vijayan, party's state secretary.